Starting a new procurement job and keen to make an excellent first impression? Here are five important things to remember to help get you off to a flying start.
Ask lots of questions
There’s something inexplicably excruciating about being the new person in the workplace, which makes asking for help and guidance all the more difficult. You don’t want to appear ignorant or clueless or burden your new teammates with endless questions. How do you project a sense of composure and competence if you draw attention to all the things you don’t know.
But the truth is, you’ll struggle to get to grips with your new role and your company’s culture without learning from other people. You were hired for a reason. Trust in your abilities but don’t be afraid to ask lots and lots of questions in your first few months on the new job. Admitting that you’re struggling to get to grips with a new technology or unsure of how to navigate a challenging internal relationship is far more preferable than pretending you know everything and making mistakes further down the line.
Get to grips with the organisation’s structure
Procurement’s status and responsibilities can vary depending on an individual organisation’s structure and business priorities.
For example, your CPO might hold a place in the C-Suite and answer directly to the CEO, or they might report into your CFO or CIO.
Ultimately, the organisation’s set-up will influence how your procurement team operates, your decision-making processes , and the level of autonomy the function has to make decision and implement meaningful changes.
Internal workplace politics can be frustrating to navigate, but it’s important that you get to grips with how things operate so you can do so with as little friction as possible.
Meet the whole team
Depending on the size of your new employer, you might not be working closely alongside everyone in your procurement team.
Nonetheless, it’s important to get to know as many of your peers as possible to build your network, learn from them, and expand your longer-term career opportunities.
Once you start work with your new employer, be sure to introduce yourself to everyone via email, arrange one-to-one meetings with key team members, and make a concerted effort to attend workplace socials and networking events.
Establish your manager’s preferred working style
Perhaps the best way to make a success of your new job is to quickly win over your manager. They will likely determine your future promotions, pay rises, and the opportunities you are given in your day-to-day working life.
Your manager will likely spend some one-to-one time with you during the onboarding process. Be sure to make the most of these sessions, work to understand their expectations and drivers, and question their preferred working style. By building a trusting and open relationship with your manager, you’ll set yourself up for future success and create a positive working environment
Understand the company’s long-term objectives
Procurement teams are capable of adding so much value to their organisation through risk mitigation, diversity and inclusion or sustainability initiatives, supplier innovation, and brand reputation.
But while it’s important to be proactive and confident in your decision-making, you can’t make a difference and drive change without a solid understanding of your organisation’s long-term goals and objectives.
Don’t rush into a new role armed with too many pre-conceived ideas about what needs to change. Take some time to observe how things are done before you decide how you can best serve your new employer.